Here's Why Bloodshot Doesn't Look Like The Comics
The Vin Diesel-starring adaptation keeps a lot from the Bloodshot comics, but there's one major change.
Bloodshot keeps a lot of things from the original Valiant comics the same, from the character's general backstory to his ability to heal any wound thanks to the nanites swimming around in his veins. But as fans have noted, there's one thing in the Bloodshot adaptation that's very different from the original books: Bloodshot's appearance.
When we got the chance recently to sit down and chat with Bloodshot director Dave Wilson, we asked him why they didn't try to make Vin Diesel look more like the comics version, and his answer surprised us.
"The easiest [change to discuss] is his look: the white skin, the red eyes, the red dot. And he's never wearing a shirt in the comics," Wilson described, explaining that he thought it would be strange for the movie version to follow the same rules. "It just presents an impractical approach. Why is he wandering around like that the whole movie?"
"Also, I feel like I need a physiological reason for it," the director continued. "I asked [then-Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani] about, like, 'Hey, why does he look that way? What's causing the red dot? What's causing the white skin?' And it was never really like, 'Oh this is why.' Honestly. There isn't [a reason]."
Based on some independent research we conducted ourselves (ie, a quick search that led us to this Reddit thread), it seems Bloodshot's big red chest circle may relate to the original way Nanites were injected into him, or it might be a wound that the nanites for some reason can't heal, or it may have simply been a creative choice born of the "x-treme" culture bubble of the early '90s. Regardless, Wilson has a point--along with the chalky white skin, it would have been a strange choice for the live-action version.
That said, there are several nods throughout the movie to Bloodshot's original appearance, including an early action scene in which Vin Diesel walks through a cloud of flour from an overturned truck and temporarily takes on a dusty, pale veneer. However, the money shot appears later--as seen in the movie's trailer, Diesel's version of the character does eventually start to look more like his counterpart on the comics page.
"This happens at the end of the film," Wilson said. But it's not simply perfunctory--the appearance change happens for a reason, relating to the nanites flowing through his body. "I just wanted it to be a response to something he was doing, and to have some logic behind that," the director continued. "For example, someone says to you, 'You look like you've seen a ghost;' it's because your skin's gone pale, because in that moment, adrenaline causes you to focus your necessary functions on fight or flight. So blood rushes away from the skin to your muscles, so you can either run, or punch whatever the hell is terrifying you. And Bloodshot is the epitome of that."
Throughout the movie, when the nanites are hard at work repairing Bloodshot's various wounds, they glow red. When they concentrate in his chest, you get a version of the red circle. And because his "blood" is concentrated in his torso, the rest of his skin appears pale white. "So that's why his skin goes that pale, and his chest goes that red, because they're clustered in his thoracic cavity, making his heart work overtime," Wilson said, adding for good measure, "And his eyes go red because they force the aperture open, so he can take in more visual information. And that causes his blood vessels to burst." Voila.
The director hinted that in future movies--should Bloodshot get a sequel or be used as the foundation for a Valiant Comics cinematic universe--the character might have greater control over the nanites. He wouldn't look like the comics version of the character all the time, but it's something that might happen as he concentrated the nanites on specific tasks.
"As it goes on, and he realizes that it's part of his ability, that he can overclock himself, that he can do that, I feel like you'll start to see more and more of it," Wilson teased. "So it's a little more sort of Bloodshot meets the Hulk, in terms of, it's something that happens to him, or something that he manifests, rather than just something that's always present."
Bloodshot hits theaters March 13. Read our Bloodshot review here.
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